It wasn't until I saw hundreds of college kids in the South go apeshit over him that it sunk in what a sensation Mac DeMarco's slacker surf rockhas become. But with buzz from Pitchfork and even the fucking Guardian, he's captured our attention with his simple bedroom-fi tunes. It's looking like this will be the summer of Mac.
It's just weird that there's so much buzz around someone so laid back. Mac's the loveable shithead, looking like Wayne from Wayne's World onstage, bobbing his head with a permanent smirk. Maybe it has something to do with his style being (by no fault of his own) an easy fit to the vomit-inducing term that is normcore. But it probably has more to do with just how likeable he is.
When Mac played for students at Tulane University in New Orleans last week, at least 100 lined up to take pictures with him (while Caddywhompus played through a killer set of their own). They gleefully cheered when he announced the name of each song before playing it.
They took to the new stuff off Salad Days just as well as "I'm a Man" and "Freaking Out the Neighborhood." But Salad Days is a really flat record, the songs are just there until they aren't. He sets up some nice grooves (see: "Chamber of Reflection"), but there's little about his sound signalling that he'd be the new hipster buzz band.
But he's getting there, already on a first-name basis with the Tulane and Loyola crowd. They all just name-drop "Mac," and everyone knows who you're talking about. And even if I don't understand how it happened, it's pretty gratifying to see it happen to someone who spits in the face of posing and posture. It's all coming as one great surprise to Mac too, who joked that the last time he was in New Orleans he played to five people.
These students, some 1,500 miles from Montreal, weren’t just casually interested in Mac. They were drinking him up like it's going out of style. But he isn't. Though it'll be some feat to maintain this level of hype once summer's through.